Sunday, December 14, 2008

Testimony of Christ

I know that Jesus lives. He is the light that can bring joy to any and all of the world if we will just receive and follow after Him. With His blood and pain, He bought, unconditionally for all, our eventual freedom from death and physical pain. Perhaps more importantly in that same process He bought freedom from sin and its consequences, IF we will obey Him by repenting and forsaking those sins. Not only will He forgive us when we comply, He will also help us along the way, picking us up when we fall, strengthening us, and lifting us above what we have been, as long as we seek after Him and work to bring our lives into line with Him. He accepts us where we are as long as we continue to make the effort to lift ourselves toward Him by means of His atonement. And so I have great reason to rejoice for He is my Savior! He is King and Lord of the whole earth, which He created, under His Father's direction, as a place for us to develop and grow. I know this, because He has helped me by means of that atonement. He has helped me when I did not feel worthy of that help. His plan for happiness is true and it allows me to have hope in this world. Without that knowledge, I would surely have caused myself and others much more sorrow. His ways, if followed, will eliminate so much sorrow and needless suffering. That is why missionary work is so important. Jesus cares about all and wants all to have the choice of happiness and life rather than sorrow and death. He wants us to become like Him, so that we may have perfect joy as He does. The world cannot come to know Him without that missionary effort of bringing His message to all who will listen. Jesus knows the difficulties of life, because He experienced life, yet rose above it all, sacrificing Himself as part of His plan, to bring us back to live with our Father in Heaven if we will but follow and obey. His message brings understanding of our mortal life. It brings the light to show us where we came from, why we are here and what we must do to be happy, and what comes after this life. He truly is the light and life of the world! May we receive our King that the blessings may flow in our lives is my prayer for all, and I offer that prayer in His name, even Jesus the Christ Amen.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

15June2008 Depression and service

Especially when you are depressed, look for someone in need of help and help them. Something as simple as cleaning off the table for someone else or helping them get their car unstuck can lift that load. It is the best way to get rid of depression, particularly if it involves physical, big-muscle work (unless the depression is caused by disobedience). Much of depression is caused by selfish, inward thinking. When we forget ourselves and go to work, we feel better. Of course if the cause is disobedience, then the only remedy is repentance.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

5 June 2008 Cultivating Marriage

It is more your responsibility to make yourself love your spouse than it is your spouse's responsibility. If you work at remembering why you fell in love (journals are a great help as time fades memories), if you work at trying to make them love you, you will find that you love your spouse more. Life will not always be young, beautiful, and exciting. Comfort causes us to relax and not nurture our relationship. Like a garden, unless we constantly cultivate our marriage, weeds can come in unnoticed, fertilizer becomes depleted, and the soil dries out. The very best way to prevent a marriage garden failure is to cultivate a relationship with Father in Heaven. He can help us see our failures and avoid unnecessary mistakes that leave scars. Only He, through the sacrifice of the atonement, can truly heal scars as well, but only as we strive to get to know and love Him. He made us. He knows what we must do to be happy and wants to help us do it.

15May2008 Bloom Where You Are Planted

One of the difficult things in life is continuing to do what's right when those around you, particularly other members of the Church, aren't (at least in your opinion). At some point or other, almost everyone ends up in a ward or branch that doesn't seem friendly. It seems that they are keeping to themselves or their own circle of friends instead of fellowshipping with all members as we are taught to. This is a problem everywhere. Some say, after a few bad experiences, that they aren't going to go to church as long as they are in that ward or as long as so-and-so is the bishop.

We need to examine the consequences of that decision and see if they are worse than continuing in the "unfriendly" situation. What will that say to our children? Will that give them an excuse when they get older not to participate? Will they miss out on important experiences that will only happen at certain times in their lives? Does that aggravate the problem in the ward? Does it slow down the Lord's work? Are you willing to do that to Him? Perhaps continuing as is isn't real great. Stopping will be worse, but changing OUR behavior can make things better.

I've seen so many who complain that no one is friendly with them, instead of ignoring that and just being friendly and helpful REGARDLESS of how the others act. Many times our perception is not accurate, and if we got outside of ourselves, we would see that we might be partially to blame. I don't come late to church. I come early so I can meet others and fellowship. I mingle. That is what we are supposed to do! I find that just a few positive comments or interest in others makes them happier, which always makes me happier! This action lubricates the Lord's wheels and makes His work move smoother and faster. I LIKE doing that!

If some offense does happen, think if there was something you could have done to prevent or avoid that disappointment. Usually there is. Learn to give it a little time, particularly before saying something negative back. Be very careful whom you talk to about it. Discussing it with others can really aggravate the situation. Sometimes a different perspective, getting outside of ourselves, melts the offense away. We don't have to judge everyone, their actions, or motives. Just forget it. Sure that isn't always easy, but I'm so glad for the many times I've been able to do so.

24April2008 Blog Beginning

I have had the feeling that I should write down my thoughts on parenting in the hopes that it may help my children in raising theirs. I hope these expressions are helpful, and that you are charitable toward me for them!

Perhaps my first thought would be that many times people preach and push the opposite in philosophy from what they really are and really do. The art teacher proclaims freedom and imagination in expression and then criticizes any who do differently in their expression of art than he does. The teacher preparation professor, who proclaims forcefully the need for teachers to be caring and nurturing, is subjective and arbitrary in her grading.

In my own teaching I have been outspoken in my proclamations for firmness and discipline, yet a principal remarked that certain students were put in my class, because he knew I would be lenient with them. In reading anyone's philosophies that principle needs to be kept in mind, namely that we do not always internally believe what we say and verily do think we believe. This may be because we are unconsciously pulling against our own actions when we speak. Perhaps I say this as a disclaimer at the outset.